Millsaps College associate professor of history and associate dean for the Division of Arts and Letters David Davis has been appointed interim vice president of academic affairs and dean of the college. He replaces Richard A. Smith, senior vice president and dean of the college, who earlier this year accepted a similar position at Roanoke College in Salem, Va.
Davis joined the Millsaps faculty in 1988 and has received several awards recognizing his talents as a teacher and scholar in the area of African and Middle Eastern history. At Millsaps, he has also served as director of Millsaps’ flagship Heritage Program, which helps freshmen explore the global dynamics that have shaped the cultural heritage of the West.
As the son of missionary parents from Mississippi, Davis spent his first 16 years in Nigeria and Ghana. As a professor, he has incorporated his first-hand observation of the problems facing modern Africa into the classroom. In 1997, the Association of Third World Studies, the largest professional organization of its kind in the world, awarded Davis the Presidential Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Third World Studies.
He holds a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, an M.A. from Baylor University and a B.A. from William Carey University. He is married to Gretchen Davis. They have two children Elizabeth, a 2007 graduate of Millsaps, and Zach, an upcoming senior at Millsaps.
Elise Smith, professor of art history, has been appointed interim Associate Dean of Arts and Letters.